Lawns are difficult to maintain due to their high demand for fertilizer and water, as well as their prevalence for weed infestation. Fertilizer and water only encourage the growth of weeds in a maintained lawn. Preventative practices, as well as regular applications of herbicide, can help curb weed growth.
Broad Leaf Weeds
Broad leaf weeds are common in most lawns that are unattended, newly sown or are infested with weed seeds. Broad leaf weeds are named for their broad leaves. Common broad leaf weeds across the country include dandelions, plantains, ground ivy and chick weeds. Broad leaf weeds reproduce by seed. Dandelion seeds travel along the wind. Broad leaf weeds, if left unattended, will infect large areas. Frequent mowing, hand pulling and herbicide application can eliminate broad leaf weeds in a lawn.
Grass weeds are harder to detect than broad leaf weeds. Unlike broad leaf weeds, which appear as out-of-place plants, grass type weeds can look perfectly at home in the common lawn. Some grass weeds, such as blue grass, are planted as turf in lawns due to their resistance to adverse weather and chemicals. Annual grass weeds reproduce by seed and die every 12 months, while perennials live slightly longer than 2 years. They reproduce underground by way of root rhizomes or through stolons, short stems that appear above-ground and release seeds.
Invasive weed types can enter a lawn and kill off established grass if not managed properly. Most invasive weeds are perennials that reproduce by rhizome. Since a rhizome spreads throughout the dirt, it chokes off resources to other plants, draining water and nutrients from the soil. Some invasive weeds are considered noxious weeds, weeds which cause economic and ecological damage to an area. Invasive weeds, once identified, are controlled by herbicides and cultivation practices.